The tyranny of information monopolists shows its face again (via).
Information is information - a tautology with a bite.
Copyrights and patents create a government granted monopoly on information. Supposedly there is a category of information, the creation of which is so important that it has to be rewarded with a monopoly over the information in question. As the above example shows, there are only few positions to which our law regarding information can gravitate towards. One of then, the scary one, the one that we are gravitating towards, is that all information is monopolized.
Imagine a world in which it is illegal to think of a medical procedure without violating somebody's monopoly; imagine a world in which publishing a photograph you took of a public street violates somebedy's monopoly; imagine a world in which publishing a photograph of a product that you have bought and paid for violates somebody's monopoly; imagine a world in which speaking publically of an artist violates somebody's monopoly; imagine a world in which doing perfectly reasonable common sense things, violates somebody's monopoly; imagine a world in which modifying the product you have paid for violates somebody's monopoly; imagine a world in which buying spare parts to your car or printer violates somebody's monopoly. Would you want to guess which ones of the above examples are already with us, right now and right here - and which ones we will see in the next twenty years.
The game of compromise has failed, utterly. The monopolizers create more and more insane demands to always push the compromise further and further toward a world where all knowledge is owned. In time, you may even have to pay somebody for relieving yourself - as somebody comes to own the idea of releasing tension in certain muscles to get rid of large or small quantities of liquid that is stored in a lower part of our body.
The only other gravity well, a stable point, in the ownership of information is to say no more monopolies. Let each person own the information he or she has - but let no one own the right to control how other people use the information, no matter how they get to possess it. (This is not to say that people cannot engage in binding contracts - but just to say that there must be no government granted monopoly on information). It is time for every one of us, who understand how precious information is for all our daily lives to stand up and say no more, or see our through our lives the gradually extending slavery of information monopolists.